Welcome to Unde! We thought you might like to know the story of how this wee Māori-owned business came to be...
We are James, Antoinette and Louis - a small family based on the Kapiti Coast, in Wellington, New Zealand.
The story of Unde's birth is a big one, which affected our whānau deeply. You see, Unde was born right alongside our son, Louis.
In 2018/19, Antoinette (Te Ati Awa, Parihaka) suffered severe morning sickness, known as Hyperemesis gravidarum, and was admitted to hospital. She was treated for the rest of her pregnancy for this, as well as severe depression. Because of the disabling nature of her medical condition and the amount of care required, James (Ngāti Kahungunu) had to leave his full-time job and care for her. One of the things he had to do was get underwear for her, a task he found super-difficult due to the limited non-synthetic options available.
When it finally came time to meet Louis, there were complications during his delivery and we nearly lost him. Thankfully he was delivered via emergency C-section and cared for in SCBU.
After that, Antoinette needed comfortable, supportive underwear made from natural fabric. It was really important to her recovery. And we thought, if Antoinette needed comfortable, natural underwear that was kind to her body and the planet, then other women probably did, too. And that's how Unde began!
Since then, we've been on quite the journey. There's been a lot of research, design, testing and making of underwear, using only the amazing talent we have right here in New Zealand. And we've added the lovely Jade Sandvoss to our team. We could not do all we have without Jade's help - she has been our admin/dispatch/return/quality and quantity manager, and everything in between.
We are so excited to have gotten to this point, where we can share our amazing underwear with the world, and we hope you love our underwear as much as we do.
Antoinette, James & Louis xx